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While Ethereum has lost its second place position to Ripple and was clearly left behind, its value is still on the rise. ETH/USD extended its gains and reached a high of $1063 according to the data on Bittrex. After the initial rise, ETH/Dollar slipped a bit, but it remains up on the day.

Taking a broader look, we can see that the market capitalization of Ethereum has reached 12 digits, surpassing $100 billion. For comparison, Ripple stands at around $150 billion and bitcoin at around $250 billion. So, Ethereum is worth some 40% of bitcoin and combined, Ripple and Ethereum equal bitcoin.

Vitalik Buterin, the person behind Etehreum, announced the launching of two new subsidy programs aimed to  dive into the scalability and also the development of the distributed ledger.

There are two main paths to improving blockchain scalability. The first (“sharding”) involves creating better-designed base-layer blockchain protocols, which still maintain most of the desired decentralization and security properties of a blockchain that we see in the simple designs available today but only require a small percentage of nodes to see and process every transaction, allowing many more transactions to be processed in parallel at the same time. The second involves creating “layer 2″ protocols that send most transactions off-chain and only interact with the underlying blockchain in order to enter and exit from the layer-2 system and in the case of attacks on the system.

This announcement probably has an impact on the price. Here is the ETH/USD hourly chart: